The Educationist Report
ISLAMABAD: (January 30, 2017): The closing ceremony of the week-long 29th South Asian Network Operators Group meeting, jointly organized by Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), was held at HEC Secretariat here on Monday.
Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest. Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA, Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC, Dr. Ghulam Raza Bhatti, Member (Operations and Planning), HEC and Dr. Philip Smith, Chair, SANOG Programme Committee were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the holding of 29th SANOG meeting in Pakistan a welcoming development and said that the meeting has surely provided a great learning opportunity to participants. “It is believed that the world has witnessed three industrial revolutions i.e., invention of steam engine, mass scale productions, and digital revolution, however the fourth revolution is taking place now in the form of availability of networking capability,” he said.
The Minister said that the country has made visible progress during the last few years despite economic pressures, terrorism, and other challenges. He maintained that Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme has played a vital role in ending digital divide and provision of Evo devices to students has increased connectivity.
Admiring the establishment of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) by HEC, he said it has immensely improved connectivity among universities. He said the Government has remarkably increased the budget of higher education sector and it is committed to promotion of tertiary education.
Appreciating the collaboration between HEC and PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah revealed that 29th SANOG meeting addressed all the issues relevant to internet including connectivity and cyber security. He said the number of internet users as well as data usage has increased in the country. These facilities need to be used for service of humanity, he emphasized.
In his welcome address, Dr. Arshad Ali briefed the audience on the proceedings of 29th SANOG meeting and informed him about the launch of Pakistan Internet Exchange Point at HEC. He said the meeting was a great learning opportunity for participants from academia, industry and IT sector. He urged the faculty members to ensure optimal utilization of networking information disseminated during the 29th SANOG meeting by data networking experts. The Executive Director lauded the collaborative endeavours of all the partners of the meeting. He said promoting higher education and research and benefitting from internet and technological advancements is a key goal of HEC.
The event was jointly organized by HEC and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in collaboration with Internet Society (ISOC), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Corporation for Assigning Names and Numbers (ICANN). 29th SANOG consisted of conference presentations, tutorials and hands-on workshop tracks. The first three days consisted of conference and tutorial presentations from diverse local and international community, and focused on current technology updates, trends and challenges related to data networks, while the rest of days sessions contained workshops.
SANOG provides an opportunity to bring together network operators for educational as well as co-operation purposes. It is a regional forum to discuss operational issues and technologies of interest to data operators in the South Asian Region, scope of SANOG is in line with established practices like NANOG in North America, RIPE Meetings in Europe and APRICOT in Asia.